Open All Night
Let’s stay out late, light’s a shrine,
each lit storefront a refuge.
Let’s prowl the streets,
echoes of our own after-curfew
footsteps stalking us.
Neon is Main street’s candlelight--
photons streaming through
a slender glass tube
like cocktails through a plastic straw.
Maybe we’ll find a tavern
with a fake fireplace,
mirrors garish with longing.
Everyone selling the good news
of easy camaraderie.
We can hear a woman’s laughter,
nervous little shrieks fluting its edges
like the crimping on Mom’s apple pie.
Gene Kelly never danced on this street,
never sang to these lampposts,
never sloshed on the shine
of this sidewalk.
This isn’t home and the heart doesn’t
ache for anyone here.
You can leave the sad stories behind,
unless they’re your own.
Jeanne Wagner is the author of four chapbooks and three full-length collections: The Zen Piano-mover, winner of the NFSPS Poetry Prize, In the Body of Our lives, Sixteen Rivers Press and Everything Turns Into Something Else, published in 2020 as runner-up for the Grayson Books Prize. Her work has appeared in Alaska Review, Cincinnati Review, North American Review, Florida Review, and The Southern Review.
The Ekphrastic Review
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